Archive for the ‘Sermon Spillover’ Category

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Pride

In Perspective,Sermon Spillover on October 24, 2011 by The Spillover

Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Beautiful scripture, isn’t it? That is, unless we allow pride to make ourselves the sole character of the verse:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

If we render this text with the accent on ourselves, it changes the meaning. The attention goes to self. I, me, I can do all things. Isn’t that great? Instead of this:

I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me.

When we emphasize Christ in this text, what are we saying? We’re pointing to Jesus and saying, Him! right there! He’s the reason I can do all things through faith. He’s glorious!

Of course, the latter is correct. The emphasis is on Christ. As in all areas of life, the emphasis should be on Christ. Not us; never us. But pride wouldn’t have it this way. Pride will tell us that God is a genie in the sky, one who we go to only when we need something, only when we desire a hand to help us through a tough stretch. Pride will tells us to glorify ourselves, and even worse, to use God as a means to do it.

Pride is the root of every sin, because pride places self in the most ridiculous place imaginable – above God. When we allow ourselves to buy into the lie of pride, sin is allowed to creep in. We begin to imagine that we “know better” than God, or that God “didn’t really mean that” though His word so clearly says so. Preposterous!

As we’re down here making an absolute mess of everything in every way imaginable, the perfect God of the universe takes our disease upon Himself that we might be saved. And in response, we attempt to place ourselves above the Holy Christ Himself!

It is no wonder at all when our Lord says

The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. –Proverbs 8:13

I don’t know about you, but when the Being who controls whether or not I take one more breath decides to reveal to me that there’s something He hates, it makes me believe I ought to listen. The thing itself – pride – is so scary because it can be so subtle. Much like a chemical addiction, it is often the victim of pride who is the last one to realize his condition. So let us be on the offense against pride. Let us seek it out in our own hearts to destroy it at any cost. This evil thing called pride wishes to set our hearts in direct opposition to God.

Consider the following:

  • Are you currently not attending church because you think you’re “OK by yourself”?
  • Are you currently not giving as much money/time/energy to God’s Kingdom as you do to your personal hobbies?
  • Do you ignore certain sins in your life and justify them as OK, even if God’s word says they are not?
  • Do you crave attention and recognition for your accomplishments?
  • Do you spend more energy on your ideas, even ministry ideas, than you do seeking and listening to God for direction?
  • Do you tend to adamantly disagree with any reproofs directed your way?
  • Do you refuse to take responsibility when things go wrong?
  • Are you currently hard to get along with in the home, or in the workplace?
  • Do you tend to cast off people who think differently than you on non-essentials?
  • Do you care more about peoples’ reactions to you, personally, than you do about God’s thoughts about your life?

Kind of a long list, eh? Lucky for you, I happen to be an expert on pride. You can trust me when I say, it’s nothing to fool around with. It’s a disease.

Since pride is such a sneaky vice, it would be wise to ask another person in our lives about our current state of humility. Seriously. Let’s each seek out a coworker, spouse, pastor, friend, acquaintance…and just ask them if we seem prideful, and if so, in what areas. Maybe even offer some of the above points as a possible checklist. Tell them to be 100% honest – and listen – don’t talk, just listen!

It would be safer to risk embarrassment than to continue to possibly swim in a cesspool of sin that God hates. It would be more intelligent to take a chance that might sting a little than to let pride keep you from seeing God. As C.S. Lewis said,

A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.

Won’t you ask someone today?

And if you will not…won’t you ask yourself why?

Articles

The Great Sin

In Sermon Spillover,Soul Food on October 23, 2011 by The Spillover

Have you read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis? In it is a chapter called The Great Sin. It deals with today’s sermon topic.  I promise you, reading this chapter of this great book will be well worth your time. Pack a lunch, put on a helmet, buckle your seat belts, and click here.

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Is It Possible?

In Kristine Krieger,Perspective,Sermon Spillover,Soul Food on October 10, 2011 by The Spillover

Who thinks Kristine Krieger should write on The Spillover more often? [Adam raises hand]:

One Sent. Me. Is it possible? An opportunity so great…but I am so small.

They must have understood that their success would be all about HIM. But what must that have been like? To be prayed over in earnest by Jesus Christ. To be chosen. To be discipled by God incarnate, himself. To walk with him. To be able to speak as friend to friend – yet to comprehend that this man – whom they had come to respect, revere and follow – was the Great I Am, on earth.

Then to be commissioned to go. I wonder what it must have felt like, when they put their faith into action and for the first time – healing was given to another at the supernatural command of their voice. To meet a desperate need with a miraculous intervention. To understand with clarity – the human condition of the people that surrounded them. The amazement – which must have led to boldness and spurred deeper commitment, deeper relationship with the One who had made it all possible. Is this what they felt?

Desirous to be “Sent.” But how? When? Where? Will I be available? Will I allow my fear to detain me? Or – more importantly – have I already been sent? But in the cares and the busyness of this life, have I missed the fact that this blessing has fallen to me?

Has the great God of the universe prayed over me, as he did those 12 men of old? Me – a sinner, saved by that same grace. I have been chosen. He is desiring to disciple…me…desiring to send…me… I have everything I need in Christ Jesus. I believe. I am willing to be sent – even where I may not want to go. I am determined, I will follow you.

Articles

Beta Testing

In Elizabeth Givens,Sermon Spillover,Soul Food on October 10, 2011 by The Spillover

Thanks to Elizabeth Givens we have this awesome “Sunday recap” and warm insight:

Wikipedia, that great source of information, says: “Beta testing comes after alpha testing and can beconsidered a form of external user acceptance testing…”

Yesterday morning Dave Riddle spoke on Jesus beta testing of his newly formed discipleship team, sending them out on their first assignment. The backstory is that in Luke 6 Jesus calls the twelve out of a larger group and designates them as “apostles” or sent ones. It was such an important selection process that Jesus spent the entire previous night in prayer. We may look at the twelve disciples and think Jesus could have done better on some of those guys, but his selection was God-driven, and God-given.

What is a disciple? It is a person who is WITH Jesus to become LIKE Jesus in order to be SENT by Jesus – that is when a disciple becomes an apostle. It is intentional, it is life changing, and it is demanding.

These men had already been with Jesus, and were learning how to be like Jesus. Then comes the beta test and we jumped to Luke 9. Jesus called together the twelve and gave them the total package – “power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” He told them to take nothing on this first trip, but to rely totally on God’s ability to pick and choose who would accept their message, where they would live, what they would eat, and how God’s power would be demonstrated.

I appreciated the emphasis Dave put on the telling and healing, and his reminder that the church tends to lean toward one or the other, but rarely does both well. If a church focuses on healing – social injustice, hunger, disease, poverty – it gets labeled as preaching a social gospel. If it focuses on telling everyone about the Kingdom of God – evangelism – it gets labeled as too traditional and not in step with today’s needs. Jesus commanded his disciples to do BOTH, to co-join telling and healing, to be sure that God’s authority and power was demonstrated in changed hearts and changed lives.

When the disciples returned (Luke 9:10) they reported to Jesus on everything they had done. I’m thinking they had a praise service and they all got to tell their story and listen to what the others had seen, heard, experienced. They probably learned a lot from each other. I can see Jesus sitting at the side listening, instructing, pouring his wisdom into their growing experience.

Then they slipped away quietly to Bethsaida – and even though they were followed and Jesus welcomed those who followed, the disciples and Jesus took a break before they launched past the beta test.

My take-away this morning was personal. I pondered who I am discipling. Who am I inviting to share life with me? How do I connect with them? How do I speak into their lives? Do I balance telling and healing, and how well do I do that? Like a plane, I need both wings.

It was good to be at Calvary this morning. With our travel schedule, we only hit about half the Sundays in a year, and I was glad to be home. Last Sunday I worshiped in a small Japanese language congregation in Hawaii. I understood very little of the service, but I was blessed by the warmth and love of the people.

What most impressed me though, was the man speaking. A Japanese American, Yokichi is 80. He retired from working in Japan at least 15 years ago, but he’s never stopped being a sent one. He spoke from memory because he is legally blind. Sermon preparation takes him a long time. But he doesn’t just do the telling – he’s out on the streets daily helping people, running in marathons to make new friends, listening, and praying. A little microcosm of Japanese speakers live in this small Hawaiian city, and Yokichi and his wife are there to tell and to heal.

When I am 80, I want to still be telling and healing. Beta testing long past. Full function in place.

Quotes

The Core Issue

This is really the core issue of it all. Do we trust him? Do we trust Jesus when he tells us to give radically for the sake of the poor? Do we trust him to provide for us when we begin using the resources he has given us to provide for others? Do we trust him to know what is best for our lives, our families, and our financial futures?

David Platt, Radical

Posted July 29, 2011 by The Spillover

Quotes

Fiscally Responsible

Are you and I looking to Jesus for advice that seems fiscally responsible according to the standards of the world around us? Or are we looking to Jesus for total leadership in our lives, even if that means going against everything our affluent culture and maybe even our affluent religious neighbors might tell us to do?

David Platt, Radical

Posted July 26, 2011 by The Spillover

Articles

Church vs. Jesus?

In Sermon Spillover on May 24, 2011 by The Spillover

Pastor Dave said something interesting toward the beginning of his sermon on Sunday. Did it Stooge-pop you like it did me?

“Sometimes the institution of religion gets in the way of really knowing Christ.”

Yowza. I can see how that might rub some people the wrong way. As for me, I yelled “Amen!”. I yelled it in my head, but still.

What do you think about this? The institution of the church being a hindrance to our efforts to know God more and more intimately? Let’s chop it up a bit…

What is the Church? It is the fellowship of Christ’s born-again believers laboring in the world for Him, is it not? And what is “church”, as in, Calvary Baptist Church? It is a building where the Church meets and organizes works, worship, and fellowship for Christ, right? Is it an essential part of the Christian’s life? Absolutely. Can you make the case that church fellowship is optional? If you can, I’d love to hear it. I could probably make the case that sleep is optional, but why would I? I digress.

The question is this: what if church becomes a cozy place we go for entertainment and/or comfort and/or friendships and/or routine and/or safety and/or food and/or familiarity and/or anything other than refueling for a life devoted to God? Can this even happen? Of course it can. We live in the “seeker-friendly” church age. There are churches all over America that forsake the majority of the Bible to achieve a comfortable, non-offensive, cotton-candy atmosphere. We at Calvary should thank God that our church isn’t one of them – laboring for just “part” of the gospel is a bit like riding a stationary bike and expecting to get somewhere, no?

The point is this: sometimes, institutional church becomes the point of peoples’ efforts. The intended product.

Calvary Baptist Church is a great place to educate your kids, but that’s not its ultimate purpose. Calvary is an awesome place to meet for small group, but that’s not why it exists. We all know Calvary has awesome services on Sunday mornings, but those services are a means to an end, and not the end itself.

Christ’s bride, the true born-again believers all over the world, are His Church. Calvary Baptist Church exists not just as a place to go on Sunday mornings or weekday evenings, but to help us to be the Church every minute of our lives.

If we find ourselves devoting lots of time to “institutional religion” that does not achieve the end we’re committed to, what should we do about it? That’s the million-dollar question.

Articles

Where is Your Trust?

In Conversations,Sermon Spillover on May 8, 2011 by The Spillover

This week’s question is, “Where is your trust?”.

I can’t help but think back to a time in my life when I realized that my trust was not in God. It was in money. I certainly wouldn’t have admitted that at the time, but as they say, actions speak louder than words. I pursued money with all my energy, and anything I made I held with a tight fist, trusting it for my security. It was a big part of my identity. I used it to mask self-consciousness. I allowed it to give me a feeling of worth. And if I didn’t have it, I didn’t feel secure.

I feel shame when I think about it. But God dealt with it.

What about you? Have you ever been in a place in your life where you realized that your trust was not in God, but in something or someone else?

Articles

The American Dream

In Sermon Spillover,Soul Food on May 3, 2011 by The Spillover

The American dream tells us that no matter who we are…no matter where we come from…no matter what might limit us…we can achieve success if we work hard enough and let nothing stop us.

That’s why it would offend most people to hear that they cannot earn their way into Heaven.

But if you think about it, if we were able to earn our way into Heaven, what does that imply?

It means that if you’ve worked hard enough – done enough “good deeds” or “righteous acts” – that God owes Heaven to you.

God does not owe anything to anybody. Who could argue that? How could the maker of the galaxies be indebted to puny little you and me? That makes no sense.

It only makes sense that His creation which has accepted His form of atonement – which was initiated and fulfilled by Him, for His glory – would be acceptable to Him.

His world. His universe. His creation. His rules.

It’s not, “God, I’ve done all these great things, you owe it to me to let me into Heaven to I can be in bliss for all of eternity”. Hogwash.

It’s “God, I can do nothing of my own accord. I’m a lost sinner and I deserve Hell. By your amazing grace you’ve provided a way for me to be reconciled to you and I accept it…and I’ll spend the rest of my earthly life serving you out of love and gratitude. All I want to do for the rest of eternity is worship you.”

God’s way flies in the face of the culture in which we were raised.

Grace cannot be earned. Thank God for that.

Articles

Biblical Prayer

In Sermon Spillover,Soul Food,Videos on April 13, 2011 by The Spillover

Don Carson on Biblical Prayer:

Articles

No Bread

In Conversations,Sermon Spillover on April 5, 2011 by The Spillover

Last Sunday Pastor Dave brought us through some of Christ’s teaching on prayer.

Beginning at Luke 11:5, Jesus uses the illustration of a man who has no bread; a friend has arrived late at night, and he has nothing for him to eat.

The man has a need. It’s such a great need that he will wake his neighbor at midnight to ask for help. With “shameless boldness”, no less.

This is an illustration of how we can approach God in prayer. By His grace, we can come to Him with our needs and struggles – with boldness and without shame.

You may remember Pastor Dave saying, “We all have our own ‘no-bread’ situations”.

Probably plenty of them.

What’s one of yours?

Articles

The Simple Answer

In Gray Areas,Sermon Spillover,Soul Food on January 18, 2011 by The Spillover

FAITHFUL. INTENTIONAL. PROPORTIONAL. GENEROUS. CHEERFUL.

Pastor Dave used these words on Sunday to describe the type of givers we, as Christ-followers, ought to be. We are to cheerfully give a generous proportion of our resources, in an intentional way, trusting by faith that God will not only take care of us when we give sacrificially, but that He will use those resources to bless others in the way that He sees fit.

The challenge to us is to live as givers.

That’s a nice, proper, church-y phrase, isn’t it?

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Got It

In Conversations,Sermon Spillover on January 16, 2011 by The Spillover

I have a feeling this is going to be “one of those books”.  You know, the type you’re a little afraid to start because you know it will probably change you in a significant way.

Anyone else planning on picking this up?

Has anyone already read it?

Articles

Everything and Everyone

In Sermon Spillover,Soul Food on January 3, 2011 by The Spillover

The Earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.

-Psalm 24:1 (NIV)

God made the earth, so of course it’s His.

God made everything on the earth, so of course it’s all His.

God made everyone on the earth, so of course we’re all His.

Seems logical, right?  Easy to say, isn’t it?  For many years of my life, I would declare those statements confidently (and then move on, quickly).  And then, some time ago, God started working on my heart.  He opened up my eyes to allow me to see something:  Just because you say something, doesn’t necessarily mean you believe it.  Where was the evidence in my life?  If I went to trial for the crime of believing that God was the maker and owner of everything and everyone, would a jury convict me?

I was talking the talk, but not walking the walk.

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Simeon

In Sermon Spillover,Soul Food on December 27, 2010 by The Spillover

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout.  He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.  Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.  -Luke 2:25-27

Pastor Mark discussed Simeon on Sunday.

It amazes me how the Bible records some elaborate truths in plain language.  For the Word to call this man Simeon “righteous and devout” is pretty profound.  A lifetime of dedication culminates in those two adjectives.  Really, imagine yourself being named in the Bible as a person who was righteous and devout.  That’s an exclusive club you’d be in.

It’s easy to gloss over those two words.  But we aren’t going to do that.

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A Baby Changes Everything

In Sermon Spillover,Soul Food on December 20, 2010 by The Spillover

Pastor Dave’s sermon was so true…a Baby changes everything.

A Baby.

Jesus Christ.

Son of the Living God.

One piece of the eternal Trinity, who was, is, and always will be.

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